The McTimoney Chiropractic Bracknell Hornets finished the calendar year with a 4-2 loss to the Chelmsford Chieftains at The Hive.
It had been mixed fortunes for the Hornets going into this game. They became the first team in the league to defeat the Solent Devils after an overtime win in Gosport. Then, last weekend, They shipped 10 goals away to Raiders Junior for their biggest defeat of the season so far.
So, topsy turvy coming into the game and that’s before you factor in how short the bench was going to be. Only 16 dressed, including the two netminders. Also, this was the third straight game that the Hornets were without top scorer Ben Ealey-Newman.
Previous games between these two this season have been close, so it wasn’t surprising to see the two teams feeling each other out at the start of the game. A scoreless first period was only interrupted by a couple of minor penalties for the visitors.
As has been the way with most of the season so far, the Hornets started the second period very slowly. It seems to be something that has troubled them throughout this season and it was no different here.
It took 54 seconds of the second period for the Chieftains to take the lead through Matthew Turner. The lead was then doubled 41 seconds later later when Grant Bartlett scored. Suddenly, the Hornets had it all to do.
Unfortunately for the Hornets, the second period then went the way of the first. With both teams battling for supremacy, Julian Smith was penalised for boarding Tamas Elias behind the Hornets net. He was given 2+10, when others might argue he warranted a higher punishment.
Going in to the third period playing catch-up, the Hornets came out much faster, peppering Phillips in the Chieftains net. Phillips had a great game, but was helped along a bit by the Hornets inability to make more of some very good chances. Something that they would soon be made to pay for.
Despite being second best in the third, it was the Chieftains who would score next to further extend their lead to three goals through Andrew Munroe. This finally seemed to wake the Hornets up, who went straight down the other end and scored their first of the evening. Matt Foord brought the Hornets back in with a shout.
The Hornets were really on top at this point and it looked like there was a genuine chance that they might snatch something from the game. That was, until, Harvey Hind-Pitcher was ejected from the game for high-sticking with just under five minutes remaining.
Amazingly though, the Hornets were the next team to score when Louis Colvin managed to tally his first goal on his debut no less. However, it didn’t take long for Matthew Turner to score his second of the game to put the Chieftains well beyond the reach of the Hornets.
After pulling Tom Annetts, the Hornets couldn’t capitalise on the extra attacker and the game and the year ended in defeat. Next up for the Hornets is the visit of the Slough Jets. It marks the first game of 2020, which begins with a full schedule of five home games in January.
McTimoney Chiropractic Bracknell Hornets goals:
46:27 Matt Foord, assisted by David Millner
58:36 Louis Colvin, assisted by David Millner
Chelmsford Chieftains goals:
20:54 Matthew Turner, assisted by Darren Brown & Julian Smith
21:35 Grant Bartlett, assisted by Ross Brears
45:29 Andrew Munroe, assisted by Ross Brears & James Ayling
59:19 Matthew Turner, assisted by Ross Brears & Cameron Bartlett